Purdue University welcomed 26 top undergraduate exchange students from Colombia on Monday, according to American media reports.
Four of the students will attend the prestigious university, located in Lafayette, Indiana, for three months while the remaining students will remain for up to six months, according to Lafayette’s Journal & Courier.
“Hopefully at the end of six months, they can go back to Colombia and be ambassadors for Purdue,” said Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University.
The students will be working with faculty members in six Purdue colleges – Agriculture, Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, Science and Technology, and Pharmacy.
The students have been granted this opportunity as part of a partnership signed in January between Colombia’s “Colciencias” administrative science department and Purdue University in order to provide access to undergraduate and graduate programs for Colombian students.
“We really intend to build something unique in Colombia,” said Daniels, adding, “we are eager to target and focus on places where we can make a difference, and Colombia may be the place where we can have a positive effect.”
According to Arvind Raman, associate dean for global engineering programs at Purdue, the university has more students from Colombia than any other country in Latin America. Additionally, Purdue ranks second for international student enrollment in the US, according to the Journal.
The students will enter Purdue six months after a deadly shooting at the university where a single gunman killed a teaching assistant and then surrendered to a police officer, USA Today reported in January. At the time, President Daniels was traveling in Colombia to discuss the educational partnership between Colombia and the university, but cut his trip short to return to Indiana.